Japan Alumni eNews (Vol. 111)

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 111 July 10, 2018

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 111

1. Life in Japan by Photo

Learn about life in Japan with photos posted by our readers! We look forward to receiving memorable photos of your experiences in Japan, including your student life, exposure to Japanese culture and history, travel, and more.

1. Photo title (15 words or less)
2. Name (katakana and alphabet)
3. Nationality
4. Name of your school in Japan

July of Japan

The theme of the July issue is photos that show July in Japan.

Goldfish Scooping

Goldfish Scooping

Morning Glory

Morning Glory

Star Festival

Star Festival

Hiyashi Chuka (Chilled Chinese Noodles)

Hiyashi Chuka (Chilled Chinese Noodles)

2. Alumni News

Bringing you news and first-hand stories about international students!

News on International Students

Microsatellite developed by international students launched into space

In May of this year, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) received three microsatellites developed through the “BIRDS2 Project,” a joint development project between JAXA and the Kyushu Institute of Technology. The microsatellites are to be launched into space from the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” of the International Space Station (ISS) this summer. The three microsatellites were developed by international students in the Kyushu Institute of Technology, from Malaysia, the Philippines, and Bhutan respectively, with the support of Japanese students. This project is also Bhutan’s very first foray into satellite development. The missions of these satellites include verification testing for digipeaters, photography of Earth, and verification testing for consumer GPS systems. They are expected to be deployed on the 15th operational Dragon cargo spacecraft (SpX-15), to be launched from Florida in the U.S.

Introduction of Current International Students

Mohammad Abdur Razzak

Name: Mohammad Abdur Razzak
Nationality: Bangladesh
University: Musashino University
Major: Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering
Period of Stay in Japan: April 2015 to Current
Japanese Proficiency Level: 254 points, Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (Japanese as a Foreign Language)

I decided to study abroad in Japan because, as I was studying in Bangladesh, I came to know about the beautiful environments, culture, and technology of Japan, and it made me like this country. I went to a vocational school after graduating from junior high school, as I’d taken an interest in architecture. I wanted to go to a technical college after graduation, but gave up as there was just too much competition. Instead, I came to study architecture in Japan, a country I knew was home to excellent technologies.

I arrived in Japan on April 1. I still remember the scenery I saw from the window of the bus that took me from Narita Airport to Shinjuku. I love the cherry blossoms in Japan. From the latter half of March to early April, so many cherry blossoms are in bloom in Japan, and it’s so much fun to go to hanami (cherry blossom viewing picnics) with my friends and acquaintances. There are all kinds of flowers in bloom in April, not just cherry blossoms, and Japan looks very beautiful.

My favorite thing about Japanese people is their manners. I love how Japanese people are always on time, keep their promises, and take their work seriously. Studying abroad in Japan has allowed me to encounter all kinds of people and cultures, learn new things, and grow as a person.

Right now, I’m a second-year in the Department of Architecture at Musashino University. I’ve been able to make so many friends, with both Japanese and international students, and I’m really enjoying my day-to-day life as a student. In my classes, I learn about architecture in Japan and overseas, create my own architectural designs and models, and recently, I’ve started being able to do what I’ve really wanted to do. In the future, I want to be an architect, and do architecture work overseas. My dream is to make use of my experiences in Japan and abroad, and start my own architectural firm.

My message to people who are thinking of studying abroad is this: make sure to study Japanese as much as you can in your home country before you come to Japan, as most classes in Japanese universities are conducted in Japanese. And make sure to do your research on Japan’s educational systems and day-to-day life in Japan before you choose to study abroad here. Set your own goals, create a plan, and try your best.

List of Japan Alumni Associations

Introduction of Support for International Students Returning Home

About the Japan Foundation

The independent administrative agency Japan Foundation is the only agency in Japan dedicated to carrying out comprehensive international exchange programs. Its three main areas of activity are: Arts and Cultural Exchange, Japanese-Language Education Overseas, and Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange. The foundation is headquartered in Japan (Shinjuku, Tokyo) with a branch in Kyoto, two affiliated organizations (Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa and Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai), and 25 sites in 24 countries throughout the world.

Support for Japanese Studies

The Japan Foundation works to support Japanese Studies institutions throughout the world, supports the training of Japanese Studies specialists, and offers a fellowship for researchers engaged in Japanese Studies overseas. The Japan Foundation’s fellowship has supported the work of many scholars, who have since achieved great success in their fields. The Japan Foundation also works to strengthen the network of researchers by hosting events, like international conferences and joint workshops, that facilitate dialogue across organizational and cultural boundaries.

Support for Intellectual Exchange

The Japan Foundation also trains the kind of human resources necessary for Japan to engage in intellectual exchange with the world. The aim of the foundation is to promote a mutual international understanding that is multi-layered and multi-lateral, and to contribute intellectually to the development and stability of the world at large. In more concrete terms, this means providing support for various conferences and intellectual exchange programs, and offering grants for research in Japan to researchers, journalists, etc., who work in areas engaged in international exchange with Japan.

Seminar for Japanese Studies research program

Seminar for Japanese Studies research program

Presentation to report on findings in a group project

Presentation to report on findings in a group project

3. Academic News

Introduction of scholarships, grants, unique activities at particular universities, and more!

Introduction of Faculties/Graduate Schools

Here we introduce you to particular faculties and graduate schools at Japanese universities.

Kindai University

Kindai University

University Profile
Name: Kindai University
Main Campus (Higashiosaka City): 3-4-1 Kowakae, Higashiosaka City, Osaka
Faculty of Agriculture (Nara): 3327-204 Nakamachi, Nara City, Nara
Faculty of Medicine & Hospital (Osaka): 377-2 Ohnohigashi, Osaka-Sayama City, Osaka
Faculty of Biology-Oriented Science and Technology (Wakayama): 930 Nishimitani, Kinokawa City, Wakayama
Faculty of Engineering (Hiroshima): 1 Umenobe Takaya, Higashi-Hiroshima City, Hiroshima
Faculty of Humanity-Oriented Science and Engineering (Fukuoka): 11-6 Kayanomori, Iizuka City, Fukuoka
Number of students: Undergraduate: 33,614 / Graduate School: 1,004 / Law School Students: 19 (as of May 1, 2018)
International students: Undergraduate: 353 / Graduate School: 50 (as of May 1, 2018)

1. Overview of University (History, Mission, etc.)

Kindai University was founded with the future-oriented principle of “learning for the real world,” with an educational goal “to develop caring, trustworthy, and respectable people.” As a university, it was established with the firm belief that it would be home to a wide variety of faculties, and that the research conducted there, and the practical education offered, would aid in the advancement of society. And in fact, Kindai University is now one of the largest-scale universities in Western Japan, spanning 14 faculties and 48 departments, a law school, and 11 graduate schools. Kindai University is very popular amongst students, boasting the highest number of applicants amongst colleges/universities in Japan for five years in a row, and with the opening of the Academic Theater in the Main Campus (Higashiosaka City) in April 2017.

2. Overview and Characteristics of Distinctive Faculties and Departments

Kindai University is home to 14 faculties: the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Business Administration, the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the Faculty of Architecture, the Faculty of Pharmacy, the Faculty of Literature, Arts and Cultural Studies, the Faculty of Applied Sociology, the Faculty of International Studies, the Faculty of Agriculture, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Biology-Oriented Science and Technology, the Faculty of Engineering, and the Faculty of Humanity-Oriented Science and Engineering. There are also 11 graduate schools: the Graduate School of Law, the Graduate School of Commerce, the Graduate School of Economics, the Graduate School of Science and Engineering Research, the Graduate School of Pharmacy, the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Human Studies, the Graduate School of Agriculture, the Graduate School of Medical Sciences, the Graduate School of Biology-Oriented Science and Technology, the Graduate School of Systems Engineering, and the Graduate School of Humanity-Oriented Science and Engineering. Of note is the newest of the faculties, the Faculty of International Studies, which requires students to study abroad from the second term of their 1st year to the first term of their 2nd year. This allows students to improve their language skills at an early stage in their university career.

3. Support for International Students (Accommodations Support and Tuition Reduction)

Kindai University offers three scholarships for international students in the undergraduate and graduate school programs: (1) Scholarship (exempted from tuition), (2) Category 1 Benefit (granted a lump sum amount equivalent to the entrance fee), and (3) Category 2 Benefit (granted 800,000 yen per year).

4. Other Types of Support for International Students (Employment, International Exchange, etc.)

International students may take Japanese Language courses to strengthen their Japanese language skills. The university also offers a variety of support systems with respect to job hunting, including job hunting guidance offered to international students through the Career Center. There are also support systems and associations specific to international students, and an International Center that is there to help each student make the most out of their student life.

Information about Scholarships, Grants, Invitations, Prizes, etc.

Inter-University Seminar House

Project Name
International Student Paper Contest 2018
1. Summary:
The Inter-University Seminar House, a public-interest incorporated foundation, began this project as a way to encourage study and promote intellectual exchange between institutions of higher education, and contribute to the development of a knowledge-based society. To that end, the organization has established (1) a training program for the operation and maintenance of overnight training facilities, (2) a joint seminar program where universities work together to deepen mutual understanding, and (3) a program that provides support for the operation and maintenance of international student dorms and education for international students as a whole. The International Student Essay Contest is held every year as a part of the organization’s efforts to support international students in Japan.
2. Eligibility:
International students in an undergraduate or graduate school program at a Japanese university
3. Theme:
Thoughts on Global Issues
4. Application Deadline:
Monday, October 15, 2018
5. Paper Requirements:
(1) Must be an original, unpublished paper.
(2) Must not exceed 4,000 characters of Japanese (excluding references/bibliography), and must be presented in A4 format (40 characters x 30 lines).
(3) Must be in electronic format (either a Word document or other text format).
(4) The title of the paper must be “Thoughts on Global Issues,” with an original subtitle.
(5) The paper must be well-structured (with summaries, etc.), with chapters that clearly establish the critical framework and the rationale for your argument, and a references/bibliography section.
(6) Reference documents only when absolutely necessary.
6. Awards:
Gold Prize (1 essay): Award certificate and 100,000 yen
Silver Prize (2 essays): Award certificate and 50,000 yen
Bronze Prize (3 essays): Award certificate and 30,000 yen
Participation Prize (100 essays): 1,000 yen book voucher
Papers that do not fulfill a certain level of quality will not be considered for the Participation Prize. The winners of the contest will have their name and university published on the Inter-University Seminar House official website, as well as the “International Student Newspaper.”
7. Contact:
“International Student Essay Contest 2018” Staff Members,
Inter-University Seminar House
1987-1 Shimoyugi, Hachioji City, 192-0372 Tokyo
TEL: 042-676-8512 (Direct) / 042-676-8511 (Front Desk)
FAX: 042-676-1220
E-mail: ishu-r at mark seminarhouse.or.jp
*Please convert “at mark” to “@” when you send us an e-mail.

Information about International Symposium

3rd Mie University Osaka Symposium: The Glocal Contributions of Advanced Research at Mie University

With the slogan “From Mie to the World!” Mie University boasts an identity as a localized, regional university, and is engaged in a variety of research efforts, from the fundamentals to practical applications. The aim of this symposium is to communicate Mie University’s various efforts and research findings to the Kinki Region. In this 3rd instance of the symposium, Mie University will introduce its latest research findings, and Toshiyuki Taga, former diplomat and professor at Osaka Gakuin University, will give the keynote speech.

Date/Time: Friday, July 27, 2018 / 1:00P.M. to 5:00 P.M (Mixer: 5:30 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.)
Location: Saji Keizo Memorial Hall, 10F Osaka University Nakanoshima Center

Academic Societies

<Literature, Philosophy, Education, Psychology, Sociology, History>

<Law, Politics>

<Economics, Commerce, Business>




<Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy>

Japanese Language Tests

4.Business News

JASSO provides information about job-search for both current and graduate international students!

Job Hunting Event Information

The Program for Advancement of Foreign Human Resources was launched in 2015, as a collaborative effort of related government ministries and agencies, and other relevant organizations. The Program seeks to increase employment of international students in Japan, and hence increase the number of highly skilled international professionals in the future, following the recent trend in policy that includes the 2014 revision of "Japan Revitalization Strategy - Japan is Back" (approved by the Cabinet on June 24, 2014). The ultimate aim is to vitalize the Japanese economy further and enhance Japan's presence in the global economy.
Through seminars, events and other activities, the Program will strengthen the system of connecting international students and other foreign nationals looking for employment in Japan, with companies in Japan looking to recruit international employees.

Events for International Students

Useful Websites for International Students

Job Hunting Report

Jose David Chreky Castillo

Name: Jose David Chreky Castillo
Nationality: Venezuela
University: Waseda University Graduate School
Major: Graduate School of International Culture and Communication Studies
Period of Stay in Japan: April 2015 to March 2018
Current Workplace: e-Jan Networks Co.
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1

I decided to study in Japan because I’ve loved Japanese history and martial arts ever since I was a child. I always wanted to be able to speak Japanese, but there were very few universities where I could learn Japanese in my home country. In my undergraduate years, I started studying Japanese on my own, had two homestay experiences in Japan, and just grew more and more interested in Japan as a country.

I liked Japan so much that I started to think of working in Japan. I believed I’d be able to make good use of my language skills in Japan, especially in its current process of globalization, and act as a sort of pipeline between Japanese companies and foreign countries, and thought I could contribute to the society.

But I was very confused at first, what with Japan’s unique system of job hunting. To adapt to this system, I asked older students and graduates about their job hunting experiences, asked for advice at my university’s Career Center, and went to job hunting information sessions. I started gradually to understand how job hunting worked in Japan. What I felt was particularly important was asking for advice from people who have already experienced the things you’re going through, and who work in fields related to job hunting. I feel that this helped me the most. I used a lot of job hunting websites, found my current company on one of them, and was able to get a job. This has allowed me to work for a company that really fits me, and that makes me happy.

My message to international students who are thinking of working in Japan is this: don’t give up, and keep trying. It’s not just you that has interviews that don’t go very well, or that’s rejected in the initial screening. Everybody has these experiences. You may each have different methods of achieving your goals, but “failure is at the root of success” applies to everybody. Keep that mentality, and I believe you’ll ultimately be able to achieve what you want.

Job Hunting Information Article

How to Deal With a Job Hunt That Is Going Poorly

If you were unable to receive a nainaitei (unofficial job offer) by June, you should reevaluate your methods and techniques as you gear up to continue your job hunting process. Analyze your job hunting experience and figure out where you are going wrong: is it the entry sheet, the written exam, the interview (first interview, final interview), or something else?

If the entry sheet seems to be your problem, start asking the instructors/professors and friends around you to look through your entry sheet, and tell you which parts need fixing. Are the things you want to communicate being communicated properly? Do your replies answer to the questions that are being asked? Is your Japanese grammar okay? Having lots of people look through and edit your entry sheet will help you get further in the screening process.

If the first interview seems to be your problem, there is a good chance you are having difficulties communicating in Japanese. Perhaps the Japanese-ness of the atmosphere is overwhelming you, and making you so nervous you are unable to speak properly. Start asking instructors/professors and friends around you to hold mock interviews and practice speaking in Japanese, as the most important thing is to be able to speak without being nervous.

If the final interview seems to be your problem, you are most likely having trouble conveying your passion for the job/company. Are you really communicating how much you want to work for that company? Try thinking again about why you want to work for that company, and organizing your thoughts before heading into the final interview.

And finally, if you are only applying to companies in a specific industry, it may be that you are just not a right fit for that industry. Reevaluate why you want to go into that industry, into that company. Perhaps you will be able to find what you want to do in a different industry as well. If you feel like you are at a dead end, try applying to different companies and different industries, then you may come across a company that is a good fit for you. So try not to limit yourself too much, and branch out when necessary.

5. Visit Japan

Have you been travelling around Japan? In this section, we bring you information about sights, events, and foods from all over the country! The July edition looks at Yamanashi prefecture.

Yamanashi Prefecture



Hoto is a dish local to Yamanashi Prefecture and its surrounding areas. It is made by combining flour with water, kneading into a dough, then flattening the dough and cutting into long flat noodles. The noodles are then stewed with a pile of vegetables in a miso-based broth. People tend to make this in the summer with green onions and potatoes, and in the winter with things like pumpkin, taro root, Chinese cabbage, and various mushrooms. It is different from udon in that the dough contains no salt (udon dough has salt mixed into it to give more of a bounce and chewiness to the dough). Another difference is that the starch from the noodles dissolves into the soup, giving it a unique, thick texture. Hoto is easy to make, as the dough does not have to be rested (left untouched for a while after kneading), and is even now regularly enjoyed as a kind of hot pot dish in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Aokigahara Forest

Aokigahara Forest

Aokigahara Forest is a forest located to the northwest of Mt. Fuji that spans Fujikawaguchiko Town and Narusawa Village in Yamanashi Prefecture. The forest is deep, with an area of approximately 30 square kilometers, and looks so much like an ocean of trees that it is often referred to as the “jukai” (Sea of Trees). The origin of the forest is said to derive from the lava brought on by the eruption of Mt. Fuji in 864 A.D., which buried a lake known as “Se-no-Umi” that was located at the time to the northwest of Mt. Fuji. Over the 1,200 years that followed, a primeval forest developed over this lava plateau, eventually becoming the Aokigahara Forest we know today. The activities offered are centered around the beautiful natural scenery: the “Jukai Tour,” which allows you to walk through Aokigahara Forest, breathing in the forest air, and visiting sites like the lava tubes of Fugaku Fuketsu Wind Cave, Narusawa Hyoketsu Ice Cave, and Lake Sai Bat Cave. The area is often lively with tourists on the weekends.

6. NIPPON Information

This section features enjoyable stories about pop culture, traditions, dining, cutting-edge technology, and more!

Lifestyle Information



Think summer festival in Japan, and you think yukata. Recently, there are more and more young men and women who wear their yukata around the city as well. One of the reasons for this phenomenon is the rise in events (events at sports games, cafés, restaurants, theme parks, etc.) that give customers special bonuses (such as discounts) when they come dressed in a yukata. Another reason is that yukata has come to be accepted more and more as a fashion item. Many modern yukata have broken the traditional mold to incorporate vibrant modern colors and bold designs, and are made with fabric that make them easier to handle and wear. This has allowed yukata to act as a sort of gateway to kimonos for many young people who may still be intimidated by the prospect of fancier kimonos.

In ancient times, yukata were worn after baths to absorb sweat. By the Edo Period (1603-1868), however, there had emerged a tradition of wearing yukata on outings after sunset in the summer. The remnants of this tradition are still seen today, as yukata remain strongly associated with nighttime events in the summer, whether it be firework festivals, summer festivals, or Bon Festival dances. The yukata is also still in use as a training outfit in the world of traditional Japanese dance, and as nightwear at hotels and traditional Japanese inns.

The most significant thing that differentiates yukata from typical kimonos is whether there is, traditionally, underwear worn underneath them. When you wear a typical kimono, you wear a special underwear specific to kimonos known as “nagajuban” (a long, kimono-like undergarment). Yukata, on the other hand, is typically worn over bare skin. Nowadays, however, with yukata being worn out during the day, more people have started wearing underneath yukata as well. Yukata are still generally considered to be casual clothing, however, and some say they should be avoided for more serious, official events like ceremonies.

Magazines and Brochures from Japanese Government

Providing public relations materials regarding Japan, including culture and sport.

7. JASSO News

Information about JASSO Scholarship programs, invitation programs, Study in Japan Fairs, and the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU).

2018-2019 Study in Japan Fairs

JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization) holds Study in Japan Fairs overseas for high school and university students who wish to study in Japan. It also participates in and assists with events and company briefing sessions held by other organizations.

  • Study in Japan Fair 2018 (Taiwan)
    Kaohsiung: Saturday, July 21, 2018
    Taipei: Sunday, July 22, 2018
  • Study in Japan Fair (Hong Kong): Saturday, August 18, 2018

Information about the “Student Guide to Japan”

For all those considering studying in Japan, we recommend you to read the "Student Guide to Japan" first.
In addition to information on the Japanese education system, scholarships, and daily life in Japan, the guidebook also includes stories about international students' experiences in Japan.
You can read the guidebook on the JASSO website, so we encourage not only those who are considering studying in Japan, but also students already studying in Japan to take a look.

You can read it in 14 languages such as Japanese, English, Chinese (simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese), Korean, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Myanmar language, Bengali, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, French, German, Mongolian, and Portuguese.

Official Facebook Pages of JASSO and Overseas Representative Offices

We also provide the latest information on studying in Japan on our official Facebook pages. Check them out!

Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)

JASSO Scholarship Programs

Web Magazine “Ryugakukoryu”

The July 2018 issue will be published on July 10. Please make sure to read it!

Follow-up Research Fellowship (Invitation Program)

This program provides former international students who play active roles in education, research and government in their home countries with an opportunity to conduct short term research at universities in Japan.

Follow-up Research Guidance (Dispatching Research Advisors)

This program provides Japanese academic advisors with an opportunity to visit and to help further research of former international students who are teaching and/or researching at universities or research institutes in their home countries.

New University Listing(s):
Kanazawa University

8. From the Editor

What did you think about the July edition of the Japan Alumni eNews?
In the past few years, we’ve seen more and more young people walking around the city in the summer in their yukata. Before, we only saw young people in kimonos for things like New Year’s celebrations, Coming-of-Age ceremonies, and graduations. Most of these would also be women, and we almost never saw men in kimonos at all. But in contrast to other types of kimonos, the yukata is actually seen quite frequently on men. Unlike the furisode or hakama types, the yukata has a more casual look, and allows people the opportunity to dress up and relax in traditional Japanese clothing. This summer, why don’t you try out wearing a yukata too?

The Japan Alumni eNews Editorial Desk is looking for people who can share their job hunting experience. We also welcome pictures from your life abroad as an exchange student and your comments for our e-mail magazine. Our next issue of Japan Alumni eNews will be distributed on August 10. Don’t miss it!

  • Information in this issue may change without notice. Please visit their websites for the latest information.

- Copyright for this online magazine belongs to Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).
- Any copying, redistribution, reprinting, etc., of this material is forbidden.

Follow-up Services Unit, International Scholarship Division, Student Exchange Department Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
  • Address 2-2-1 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8630 JAPAN
  • TEL +81-3-5520-6030
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  • E-mail alumni-newsletter at mark jasso.go.jp
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